Do flip flops hurt your feet?

Do flip flops hurt your feet?

The weather is warming up, and that means you might be searching through your closet for the sandals and flip-flops that you haven’t been able to wear in months.

But is having just a thin piece of material between your feet and the ground harmful? Are flip-flops bad for your feet?

“Overall, flip-flops and sandals that are completely flat are very bad for everyone’s feet, not just runners,” says Dr. Thurmond Lanier, a podiatrist at Aurora Oshkosh Medical Center in Aurora, Wis. They offer no support to the arch and cause the musculature in our lower extremities to overwork with every step.”

Dr. Lanier says that overwork can lead to heel pain and plantar fasciitis, a condition that inflames the bottom of your foot and can cause serious pain. He says “anyone with low arches should definitely avoid flip-flops.”

“It is understandable in the hot summer months people want to wear something that is more breathable than athletic shoes,” Dr. Lanier says. He advises patients wear sandals with better arch support.

“If people are going to wear sandals they just need to be smart about it. If they are going to be on their feet for a short period of time, then they should be safe from foot pain,” he says. “If they have plans to do a lot of walking such as going to the zoo or park they should opt for comfortable, supportive athletic shoes.”

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About the Author

Mike Riopell
Mike Riopell

Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Aurora Health. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.